Knowledge of a king

photo courtesy of Tourism Authority of Thailand

Tourism Authority of Thailand has launched Wicha Kao Na (Nine Subjects Of Knowledge), a book inspired by the wisdom of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The nine topics mentioned in the book are not regular subjects taught at school or college, but accumulated from the king's long experience of working. Such knowledge is explained by nine people from different areas, told through the trips they experienced and the wisdom they gained.

The first piece of knowledge, written by Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, is about the art of Thainess. She takes a trip to Bangkok Noi and narrates the delicacy of Thai art in royal barges which were neglected after World War I. They were brought back to their glory by the orders of King Bhumibol. Then, the marvellous Royal Waterway Procession was revived in 1959.

The journey also brings readers to the nearby Ban Bu community, which produces the Thai traditional alloy bowl khan long hin.

TAT's governor Yuthasak Suphasorn writes about the king's knowledge of water management. He tells stories about the trip to Nakhon Nayok province, which long suffered from a cycle of floods and drought. The formerly useless land became a perfect place for agriculture, with a dam project initiated by the king.

Khun Dan Prakarnchon Dam is a modern dam built with roller compressed concrete, which efficiently reduces construction costs. It involves adding lignite fly ash to the cement mix to improve the fluidity and workability of the mix while reducing the amount of cement needed, so reducing material costs.

Yuthasak explores the fertile land, enjoys delicious fish from the reservoir, and cruises the beautiful water of Nakhon Nayok, which mirrors the king's excellent knowledge about water management.

Songwriter Boyd Kosiyabong writes a story about "soil", the king's sufficiency theory, and the Bhumirak Thamachart Project in Nakhon Nayok province. Boyd's journey is about soil improvement and environmental development, which turned useless land into fertile farms.

Three Black Magic At Phu Phan is the story about three kinds of livestock; black chickens, black pigs and black cows, which play significant roles in improving local farming in the Northeast. The king's core idea in developing this poor region was low cost, high efficiency, and ease of maintenance. Thus Phu Phan Royal Development Study Centre develops livestock that suits local farms in the drought stricken Isan region.

Other stories include the Royal Rain, the relationship between people and forest, Kam Ling Project and natural conservation awareness on Doi Inthanon.

The book, in Thai, is available for free at TAT's offices. Call 1672.

-- Peerawat Jariyasombat

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